Progress Report

Well, we’re almost two-thirds done with June. This summer really is flying by. I’m not so sure if the fast-pace is because I’m at school and the hustle and flow of the city makes me feel like everything is going by faster than it really is or what. Either way, I’ve been keeping busy. But don’t worry, not too busy. I’ve got weekly activities that I participate in and a semi-regular work schedule. On Fridays I go straight from work to play ultimate frisbee with my friends. Then we get dinner and hang out at somebody’s house. On Sundays we regroup and play wiffleball down on the Mall before heading back home for True Blood. Speaking of my predilection for pop culture, I’ve been keeping up on my tv watching and movie goings.

Going to the movies has quickly become a nice little treat for myself this summer. First I rounded up the crew to go see Battleship. Kind of weak, plot-wise, but totally worth it since I got to stare at my boyfriends Eric Northman and Tim Riggins for two hours. Then I got home from work one night and went to see the midnight premiere of Prometheus. Not sure if I’d have liked it more or less if I’d seen Alien, but I enjoyed it regardless. I said “ew” a lot, but I still liked itAfter that, I’ve started my own little tradition. Since I don’t have to work on Mondays, I go across town and hit up the independent movie theater for a matinee. My first time out was to go see Wes Anderson’s new flick Moonrise Kingdom. I had some reservations once I realized that two twelve year olds were supposed to carry the weight, but they managed beautifully. It was a perfect little summer movie. Then today I went and saw Safety Not Guaranteed. Basically it was a love letter written directly to me. I absolutely adored it. All of the actors were amazing (special shout-out to Aubrey Plaza, who continues to blow me away). It was endearing and hopeful but still managed to capture the craziness and uncertainty and loneliness of life. And setting it on the stormy beaches of Washington didn’t lose it any favor.

I’ve been keeping up with my lists, both book and tv. Since the beginning of the month I’ve finished Brave New World and the fourth book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide “trilogy.” I’ve started on the fifth, but it’s been slow going. I’ve also managed to finish Dance Academy, much to my friends’ glee. Apparently not all of them were as enthused with my live-tweeting as I was. I’ve also finished with Arrested Development and am keenly awaiting the newest season and cinematic adventure. I’m plugging my way through Friday Night Lights, already in the third season.

Don’t worry, mom, I’m not spending all of my time with my face glued to the tv, just most of it. I’ve been to a couple National’s games now. And it seems like every other week one of my friends wins a happy hour at the local bar, so we go out for drinks every now and again. If only I can get a trivia team together… And it seems like more often than not everyone ends up lounging on my bed to just hang out and chat or watch a few episodes of West Wing, or Dawson’s Creek.

It’s safe to say I’ll have plenty to keep me occupied for the rest of the month. At the end of the week I’ll be back in Ohio, visiting family and friends. It wouldn’t be summer if I don’t at least swing by BVFAC for a broken pretzel. Alas, it’s only a short reprieve from DC, but my mini-vacation is taking place during the hottest days of the year so far, so I can’t complain. Once there I’ll golf with my dad, possibly take my mom to see Avengers (as a belated birthday treat), and pick up a lot of books at the library to breeze through. The summer may seem to be moving quickly, but I’m doing my best to make the most of the time.

Now, for your enjoyment, an original song from Safety Not Guaranteed. It is clutch:

That Girl Looks Like Trash

There are a lot of things I love about GW. There’s also a lot of stuff that GW people like. But sometimes I just don’t get it. I understand that fashion is (kind of) important. You get judged by what you wear. You don’t want to look like a slob. But GW fashion is ridiculous. Everyone seems to wear a variation on the same thing. Especially the girls (pea coat, leggings, Uggs, non-t-shirt shirt, Blackberry, Starbucks).

For a group as uniform in appearance as we are, GW’s a bit judgey about fashion. Which, GW students must be the epitome of class if they’re too good for pants, right? I wouldn’t know, not owning a pair of leggings. Shocker, I know.

But, for as politically active and socially aware as GW students can be (especially PoliComm majors, just sayin’), they are still ridiculous and judgey about clothing and fashion. Case in point. I just… They turned a wonderful and insightful political event of former White House press secretaries into an opportunity to critique professional fashion. Guys… really? I’ve seen girls strutting around thinking this is an okay look. Pick on her!

I’m just saying – it’s kind of preposterous for a 20 year old to pick apart the clothing choices of an adult when said adult is, roughly, 1000% more successful than you. They worked in the freakin’ White House. They corralled unruly journalists (and presidents alike, I’m sure). They were the source of information and poise when talking about the whole Monica Lewinsky thing, 9/11, the beginning of the Iraq War and much, much more. They probably have more things to worry about than what GW students (and C-SPAN viewers) think of their clothes. Most of them run communications firms and… I’m just exasperated.

The event was fantastic, though. I really learned a lot about what the actual job of the press secretary is. Because, as much as I love Aaron Sorkin, Allison Janney, and the West Wing, it was nice to hear a real-world perspective. They spoke candidly about their time in the White House during international crises. They spoke about delivering a message without being the one that crafts the content. They spoke about having to rely on themselves and their gut instincts, all while knowing when to ask questions and become a journalist themselves. And, despite what Ari Fleischer said, they kind of are rock stars. Especially at GW.

I’m Terrible at Birthday Wishes

Mid-January is always a bit of a busy time for me. I have to readjust to life in DC, start all my classes, figure out my work schedule, celebrate my birthday, and this year go to GW basketball games as a member of the band. To make matters worse, this is a 17 credit semester. That’s the most you can take. I’m not complaining, I like all of my classes.

But. Anyway. January, right. Birthday-times. I’m now 20. I’m not sure how I feel about this. It’s kind of blowing my mind. I’m not a teenager anymore. I’ve officially embarked on the third decade of my life.

At the same time, 20 seems to be the most useless age I can imagine. 16’s cool because you get to drive. 17’s nice because it’s your last year at home, last year to pull shenanigans without the repercussion of being arrested and charged as an adult. 18 you get to vote!!! 19 is good for getting drunk in Canada. And everyone knows that at 21 you can drink. But at 20, well, there’s really nothing beneficial being thrown your way. It’s just a big milestone number with no milestones associated with it. At least I got a good birthday and two cakes out of the bargain.

I had a great time. I brought in my 20th birthday playing Mario Kart and Super Smash brothers with some friends and my “exuberant” RA. Then we watched Family Guy. When I woke up again after officially turning 20 (January 17, 10:01 am) I went to see my advisor to get the greenlight for my study abroad plans. Then Amanda and I played Mario Kart for a solid 4 hours before heading to dinner with a huge group at Fuddruckers, eating a special-made triple-layer heart-shaped chocolate chip cake with chocolate icing. It was heaven.

But maybe the best gift that could have been given me that day (aside from Anne’s wonderfully beautiful birthday card) was getting a happy birthday tweet from Joshua Malina. He has the same birthday as me, don’t ya know? (So do Muhammad Ali and Michelle Obama, but Josh Malina, guys!!!) I mean, Will Bailey himself tweeted me happy birthday.

Best day ever. Honestly, it was a great day. I even got to make ridiculous birthday demands and vetoes. For a person who doesn’t like the spotlight all that much, the power was kind of fun.

Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful day. Now, a gift for you:

I have big dreams for this year. Let’s hope that at least a few of them come true!

Are You Ten Years Ago

Give or take a fortnight I’ve lived through exactly two decades. With the aughts winding down, I thought I’d take a look at the advancements, publications,  and occurrences of the decade* that were most influential in my life.

Music: iTunes, dub-step, auto-tune

  • Radiohead
  • The Decemberists
  • The Killers
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Kings of Leon

Television: HD, on Demand

  • West Wing
  • Stargate SG-1
  • Veronica Mars
  • LOST
  • The Daily Show

Movies: 3D (for this one I’m doing directors, it’s just easier)

  • Joe Wright
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • David Yates
  • Jason Reitman
  • Lee Unkrich

Books:

  • The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  • Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
  • Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Summerland by Michael Chabon

Fashion:

  • leggings
  • “vintage” t-shirts
  • skinny jeans, or, conversely, jeans that are too baggy
  • Vera Bradley bags
  • North Face fleece jackets

Technology:

  • GPS
  • iPods
  • Smart Phones
  • Internet (modems => cable => broadband => wifi)
  • social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, blogs)

Current Events:

  • 9/11 terrorist attacks
  • medical scares: SARS, Avian Flu, Swine Flu
  • America invades Iraq & Afghanistan
  • financial crisis
  • hipsters

*This entire list is made up of my opinions, and the things that were the most influential to myself. Given that, I figured it’d be easiest to limit every category to five items. Keep in mind that, to me, the decade started in 2001 and lasted until the last moment of 2010. The next decade will be 2011-2020.

Tuesdays with Maury, Wednesdays with John

A long time ago I came to terms with a simple fact: I am a geek.  Not only do I read like it’s my job (in actuality, I probably read with more diligence for fun than I would if I were at work), but I have for as long as I can remember always plod through summer with sheer excitement for school to restart. I like to learn. I have a reading list this summer that I compiled for myself. It has sixty-nine books on it, all of them either non-fiction or literature. I’ve been out of school for 17 days and I’ve already read ten books – none of them on my list.

And, for as much TV as I watch (which, believe me, is a lot), it actually helped me, come college! Even the non-educational, completely fictional, escapist shows that I watch helped me ace quizzes and classes in college. And parents say TV rots your brain. Honestly, ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 and seven of the West Wing helped me pass Astronomy and PoliSci, respectively.

The first few books on my reading list: Faiths of the Founding Fathers, The Oxford Companion to World Mythologies, and Generation Kill. I was looking forward to reading Anne’s book about quantum physics, but I forgot to borrow it from her before we parted ways for the summer.

But, seriously, even some of my favorite cartoons  are geeky. Regardless, I can’t wait for Futurama to come back to TV this summer. Also, is it just me, or does the theme song for Futurama sound reminiscent of the chime-y intro to 17? Decide for yourself:

But the geeky thing about me that really seems to take the cake: I love over-the-phone political surveys. Always have. I think they’re fun. Sometimes I bond with the pollsters. Like yesterday, for example. I bonded with the guy interviewing me over the fact that we were both too young to vote in the 2008 election. Apparently, we’re the same age, and even have the same birth month! Go figure. See, politics can be fun. (Speaking of, you go John Sides!)

Go! Watch! Now!

Don’t walk, run. Click here as fast as you can and watch the “Maneater” Psych-out (it should play automatically when the page opens, perhaps after a short ad). It made my day.  It was actually better than watching the Jam wedding on the Office this morning (I missed it when it was on last night due to work). I watched this Psych-out at least three times. Actually, I’m going to do it again as soon as this is posted.  Joshua Malina, I love you.

PS – We have the same birthday! And if you love Joshua Malina, too, you should check out his stint on Sports Night and The West Wing. Kudos Aaron Sorkin for putting him on your shows.

Oh, and here’s some music:

EXCITEMENT!

Jon Favreau* sighting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After class today Amanda and I walked to the White House after grabbing some lunch at the McDonalds around the corner. ( We go out for lunch every Thursday to avoid our cleaning lady because we feel strange having someone else do our chores).  While we were loitering in front of our favorite stretch of fence we saw staffers from the West Wing entering and exiting the front gate.  As we watched, a man in a blue dress shirt came outside.  After some gawking, Amanda supposed that it might be John Favreau.  She snapped an inconspicous picture of the fella on her cell phone. Upon returning to the dorm, we shared the picture with Anne who helped us confirm it was, indeed, Jon Favreau.

To make this all the more exciting, he seemed like a supremely affable guy.  He was chatting amiably with other West-Wingers.  Next time, I promised Amanda, we would say something.

This was infinitely more exciting than the possible sighting late in June.  My college orientation group was hanging out on Pennsylvania Avenue at about 11 pm and I though that I might have seen him leaving work, but there’s no way to be certain.

If we can get Amanda’s picture up here, you’ll be able to have your very on Jon Favreau sighting!

*Jon Favreau is Obama’s Director of Speechwriting. He is the second-youngest person to hold the position.  He also happens to be my idol.